I took a big bite out of my sandwich from Brewer Dining Hall, which is lovingly nicknamed (and basically only called) “Cobo.” I consider my lunch hour my one true break during a school day. All of my friends eat together at a long table, enjoying fellowship and bantering together. It’s truly refreshing for my soul, more than any food alone could be. I never have a care in the world.
“Did you get into that class for next semester?” one of my friends asked another.
She looked at her, disappointed. “I did, but I don’t know anyone in the class!”
Suddenly, my wonderful, stress-free lunch hour was interrupted by a terrible realization: I missed registration.
I opened my phone so fast that you would’ve thought the president had called to inform me of a national emergency. I added all of my winter and spring term courses to my registration cart and was beginning to feel a minor twinge of relief. All that was left to do was confirm my registration. I slowly hit the button at the bottom of my screen, and the “spinning wheel of death” (which is what my mom calls loading dials) began to turn mockingly.
“We’re sorry. We couldn’t register these courses.”
If you’re new to the game of registration, welcome to the party. It’s difficult and it’s stressful, but we’re all in this together, and I’m not saying that just because I love High School Musical. “Ohana” means family, and family means nobody gets left behind, the Union family included. So, to help the odds be ever in your favor, I present to you the top seven “do’s and don’ts” of registering for classes.
- DO meet with your advisor early. Those who procrastinate on this are the ones who end up freaking out come time for registration. These are the students who think they have their whole schedule figured out on their own, only to find out from their advisor that three of those classes aren’t being offered and two aren’t needed for their major. Whoops. Trust your advisor, and talk to them at least a week before you register.
- DO use the Ellucian GO app to register. I made the mistake of using WebAdvisor my freshman year, which proved to be the cause of many tears. WebAdvisor crashes like clockwork every semester during registration. Avoid the meltdowns by using the Ellucian GO app. It’s faster, easier and less likely to cause your device to burst into flames.
- DO put the classes in your cart ahead of time. Once you’ve met with your advisor and are feeling good about your schedule, put the courses into your cart after that meeting. Half of the stress of registration is trying to look up every single course you’re wanting to take (what on earth is a “synonym” anyway?), so don’t look them up at 11:59 on registration night. The Ellucian GO app will save the courses in your cart until you hit “register.” Registration will be a breeze if all you have to do is click one button.
- DO have an experienced friend around for moral support. When I was a freshman registering for classes for the first time, one of my sophomore friends came over to my dorm to help me. However, this was in the WebAdvisor days (R.I.P.), so she was there mostly to calm me down when I almost hyperventilated as the site crashed. Having a friend who has registered successfully can help to make sure you’re all squared away on the night-of (and help to calm you down if need be).
- DON’T get the date wrong. This is probably the most common mistake with registration. “Registration is at midnight on Wednesday.” Right, okay, but does that mean I need to stay up late Tuesday night since “midnight” is technically Wednesday morning, or do you mean it’s at 11:59 Wednesday night? Half of the student body is always confused on what night registration is actually taking place. Verify with someone knowledgeable. This person is never me.
- DON’T freak out if the class section you wanted is full. I’ve seen many professors kindly expand their section to welcome in more students, especially students who are nearing graduation. And even if they don’t, there are typically many more sections to spare. Don’t let this weigh you down too much. There are far greater things to worry about, like solving world hunger or being the arms of an angel to a puppy affected by animal cruelty.
- DON’T try to register without snacks. This isn’t a joke. I’m giving you permission to stress eat here. Share them with your moral-support friend.
Even though registering for classes can be intimidating, ask any upperclassman, and they’ll tell you that every semester, regardless of sites crashing or sections being full, it always works out. You’ll get the classes. You’ll graduate on time. And all of your worrying is for nothing. So, relax a little this registration season with a friend, your stress snacks and these seven tips. In the words of Leslie Knope, “We need to remember what’s important in life: friends, waffles, work. Or waffles, friends, work. Doesn’t matter, but work (or class registration) is third.”
Photo courtesy of Kristi McMurry Woody